Kukla's Korner

Olie Optimistic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Capitals have done everything under their power to keep their fan base happy. Their future looks bright and I am glad to see Kolzig wants to stay in D.C. from the Washington Post,

Kolzig's feelings about his future in Washington have changed over the past two months. So have those of team officials. "I'm more optimistic about being here for the rest of my career than I was at the beginning of the season," said Kolzig, whose five-year contract expires after the season. "I'd love to be one of those rare athletes who starts and finishes his career, over a long period of time, with one team.
more (reg. req.)

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Canes Still Evolving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

The Carolina Hurricanes, the team that promises it's "Here to play, here to stay," has fulfilled the first part in the season's first quarter. The team widely expected to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference burst out of the lockout by winning 12 of its first 15 games, rising to the top of the Southeast Division and looking like it can make the playoffs by going .500 the rest of the season. So are they "here to stay?" Only Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos knows, but he has said that the Triangle is strong enough as an NHL market so long as it has a competitive team. Attendance at Canes homes games is up from 11,676 in the 2003-04 season to 14,688 this year.
more

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Z & Dats- The Detroit Duo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

When you look at the players the Red Wings have brought over from Europe and the Iron Curtain nations like Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Kozlov, Tomas Holmstrom, Jiri Fischer, Datsyuk and Zetterberg, along with a host of future prospects, you wonder why other teams don't do a more thorough job oversees. "There are unknowns, starting with showing up at a rink in Russia only to find out the game you wanted to see was played yesterday," Nill said, shaking his head. "And then there's the language barrier and culture shock that you have to deal with (with) many of the kids. I remember going over to see Pavel a couple of years after we drafted him and calling to him. Finally, he turned around and said, 'I don't know the English.'" His body language on and off the ice is just fine now.
read on

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Brule Compared To Yzerman & Clarke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

It is rare when an athlete's heart and desire to compete overshadows his elite skill, as flash and pizzazz grabs everyone's attention. But Gilbert Brule, the sixth-overall choice of the 2005 Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, it is completely true.
continued

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Trottier Giving Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Winnipeg Sun via Slam,

Trottier shakes his head when he thinks about the current state of aboriginal youth -- plus the bias and discrimination they have to deal with. "You just don't know what they're faced with every day," he said. "Every challenge is different, and until you actually stand in their shoes, it's difficult to understand. Kids often want the easy way instead of the hard way. "The hard way is more beneficial, the reward, that much greater." Whether it's visiting remote reserves and drum-dancing with the locals, hugging abused children, or feasting with the elders, Trottier recognizes the affect his heritage has had on people.
more

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Time To Move Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Garrett of Sportsnet,

Now don't get me wrong. I like Mats as a person and he has been very good for the Leafs. Like Thornton he has averaged more than a point per game. He has played in seven all-star games and has been selected to the year end all-star team twice. He has been very good but can the Leafs get to that next level with captain Mats as their leader in the playoffs. In the 10 years Sundin has been in Toronto the Leafs have won only seven playoff rounds. That includes those wins over Ottawa! There comes a time when you have to turn the page.
read on

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Clarke Shoots Down Rumor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Philly Burbs,

If the Flyers are shopping for a goaltender - and the hot rumor is they're interested in Florida's Roberto Luongo - it's news to general manager Bob Clarke. Clarke acknowledged Tuesday night that several clubs have called, one offering a goaltender in trade, especially after the news got out that Robert Esche would be out at least another week with an abdominal muscle injury. But Clarke said Florida is not one of the teams with which he's had conversations. "I haven't spoken with [Florida GM] Mike Keenan in some time,'' Clarke said before the Flyers-Flames game.
read on

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Rangers Applaud The Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Daily News,

Steve Rucchin still isn't so sure about the whole thing. What would the folks back home in Thunder Bay, Ontario, say if they saw it? But Rucchin is learning when at the Garden this season, do as the Europeans do. So, somewhat sheepishly, the alternate captain joined his teammates at center ice following Monday night's victory over Minnesota in a stick-raising salute to the fans. "I guess that's what you do when you've got 95% Europeans on your team," Rucchin said, laughing as he rolled his eyes. "I find nothing wrong with it - I mean, the fans are great. Whether it's got a place yet in North America? I don't know."
read on

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Avs Goalie Situation Undecided

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Rocky Mountain News,

After the Avalanche's morning practice Tuesday, coach Joel Quenneville was asked whether David Aebischer or Peter Budaj would start in goal against the Bruins. Quenneville didn't have an answer, saying only, "We're going to announce that (today) just to change things up. We're looking for the goaltending to be better." Later in the afternoon, the Avalanche announced goaltender Vitaly Kolesnik had been called up from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Lowell, Mass., and would be available to play tonight. The Avalanche hasn't said that Aebischer or Budaj is injured, so it's unlikely Kolesnik would be summoned from the East Coast unless a trade - the Avalanche is among the teams said to be interested in Florida goalie Roberto Luongo - were in the works or the Avalanche intended to play the 26-year-old native of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.
continued

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JSG Assumes He Is #1 Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times (reg. req.),

As Duck Coach Randy Carlyle prefers to ride a hot goalie, Giguere is in an unaccustomed second-string role though he made it clear he doesn't view himself as a backup. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm still the No. 1 goalie here and that's not even an issue," he said after Tuesday's morning skate. "I understand where he's coming from. It would be a really hard decision to put me in the net when Bryz is playing well." Giguere said he and Carlyle have talked recently about his status. One upcoming game he expects to play is Saturday in Montreal, where he was born and still resides during the off-season. "It means a great deal to me," he said in returning to his hometown. "It's not like we're there three or four times a year. [But] I don't want to play just because I want to be ready to play in Montreal. I want to play because I want to play."

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